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Der Samuel's Sermon August 27, 2023


Today’s gospel reading is from the Gospel according to Mark and the story is one of the most heard and read stories. We read the following. – “On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4.35-14) Sometimes we hear the same story over the years, and probably you will say, why do we keep repeating the same story every year? It’s a good question. I don’t know if it happens with you, but when you read an article about anything sometimes you don’t understand from the first time what they are saying or talking about. I think the Bible is the first book of that kind of book that each time you read you learn something new; you find out new ideas, new lessons.

Same kind of storms and waves we confront in our lives. During the storms, we see the level of our faith. I’m sure you know Winston Churchill’s one of the most famous expressions “You can measure a man's character by the choices he makes under pressure.” Storms in life can bring to the surface what’s inside of you. Storms will reveal to you whether you live by fear or by faith. Storms will reveal to you if your heart is full of trust or doubt. The way we react to God during a storm reveals the truth about ourselves, whether we want it to or not. But I want to make clear that God doesn’t send these storms. In other words, God doesn’t send us problems in our life, we create them, by our own decisions, by our own choice.

As a human, we will make mistakes in our lives and cause problems for ourselves and even sometimes for others, but the important thing is how we react and behave during “storms” towards God. We must know that the storms of life are a reality of life. And storms happen suddenly, and those storms will test and reveal our faith and spiritual maturity. And during the storms are we going to see God as a good God or a “bad” God for allowing it to happen? Or we will define him based on His answers to our prayers.

In this story, we see the disciples' faith. Despite thousands of miracles Jesuses performed in front of them, they were afraid of the storms. Even though they were fishermen, and they must know how to sail during the storms, it is part of their job. They were even surprised by the miracle, and they said. – “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” So, today’s story is challenging us to work harder on our faith. You can’t measure your faith just by coming to church. Faith doesn’t have a limit. It doesn’t start from a point and ends in someplace. No, it starts with the baptism and ends with our death. We can’t put faith in bounds. As long as we live, we must work in our faith. So that when we face a storm in our life, we can come out stronger and not afraid, or questioning God’s divinity. Faith is our helmet during the storms. Faith helps you and teaches us how to fight and confront the storms. I can speak for hours about faith, but if we don’t work on our faith, nothing will change. I can’t make decisions about your life; you must make it. In the same way in your faith, I can show you the path, teach you how to work on your faith, and help you. Everyone has faith, some work on their faith, and others do not. In today’s world, they prefer not to work, because there are other things that they can do without spending hours and days. I hope you will be that exception who prefers to work on your faith and follow Jesus Christ. I pray and wish that you will add to your challenge list by working harder on the faith challenge for your spiritual and daily life benefit. May God Bless you forever and ever, Amen.


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